This spring the Queen had her ninety-sixth birthday and is still working! Over the past months, however, she has been doing this in a different way than in the past. During the pandemic, she continued to review documents in the daily “red box” that she received and conducted business by phone when it was feasible. Because of the restrictions and need to limit contact with others, though, she also began using technology to reach others virtually.
In recent weeks she and her family have been preparing for formal celebrations to honour her seventieth year on the throne. She has been delegating others to attend what were previously regular appearances such as the opening of parliament and spring garden parties.
The media has stated that she has delegated rather than appearing in person because of episodic mobility issues. It is also now common knowledge that she has asked her dresser, Angela Kelly to move into the apartment in Windsor Castle that is next to hers to provide more assistance for daily living.
I had never heard of the term episodic mobility issues and decided to do some research.
Dr. Jayant Arora who is the Director and Unit Head at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram states that that this is not a medical diagnosis. In fact, temporary mobility impairment issues might actually be the result of other conditions. Weakness, injury, balance, pain, muscle loss or deformities can be the source of the problem. Also neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, brain strokes, arthritis, or spinal cord disorders can be at the root of the problem.
The word “episodic” implies that the issues occur occasionally and at irregular intervals. This might explain why the Queen waits until the day before an event before deciding whether she or not she can attend. She misses some things and then shows up at others looking radiant.
Before her husband, Prince Philip’s memorial service held in March, 2022, there was a news article that stated the Queen was concerned about being seen in a wheelchair. According to the author, she was upset when she saw disturbing photographs of her sister who had a stroke published by the press. She therefore apparently vowed never to have images of herself in a wheelchair to be seen by the public.
This week, it was interesting to see the Queen arrive at the Chelsey Flower Show in a fully-equipped “buggy” that allowed her to view the displays while sitting.
So let’s put this in perspective:
- She is 96 years old!
- Her reign continues and she is still in a very powerful role recognized throughout the world.
- The demands of appearing in public continue.
- The Platinum Jubilee is a historical event that has not and likely will not be matched.
- She wants to participate but has some physical limitations.
- As a leader she has been wisely using resources by delegating royals to stand in for her, communicating through technology and appearing when possible.
Pretty good, I’d say.
How do you handle your responsibilities when you have episodic barriers that interfere?
What do you think your life will be like when you are 96 years old?
Lots of things to think about this week.